Gabi drove them to Frogner Park. They arrived at 11.30. The first buds of spring were showing, colours beginning to emerge among the green grass and leaves. Parking the squad car at the entrance they got out and walked hurriedly through the few tourists and city residents enjoying the brisk spring sunshine.
Earlier, in Pedersen’s office, Sand had tried to explain to his Captain what he thought was happening.
‘It’s something to do with Jules Eckberg,’ Sand explained.
‘Eckberg? Remind me,’ Pedersen asked.
‘A killer I put away twenty years ago. Mutilated and decapitated his boyfriend in Frogner Park. Claimed it was some sort of sacrifice to Satan. The jury convicted him of murder.’
‘I vaguely remember.’ Pedersen nodded.
‘Yesterday that dead cat you sent me to look at. It was killed and displayed in the same way that Eckberg left his boyfriend.’
‘I thought so but I checked on Eckberg. He died in prison on 2008 having never been released.’
‘This morning I noticed another coincidence. The dead cat was named Bjarne. So was Eckberg’s boyfriend. Then I got this email message. It name checks Bjarne. They have a recording of me in my house last night.’
‘That was the noise I heard, the drumming?’ Pedersen asked.
‘I do it to clear my head, to think. A voice on the message says meet at the park at midday. It must mean Frogner Park. I don’t know how or why or who, but this is related to the Eckberg murder.’
Pedersen grimaced. ‘It all seems a bit far-fetched. Gabi?’
Gabi shrugged. ‘Far-fetched, but something weird is going on. We should check it out. There’s no harm going to the park today.’
Pedersen agreed. ‘Okay. Check it out. Let I.T. have a look at your computer and the message you received. When you get back from the park we’ll reassess. I still have my doubts, it feels like a wild goose chase over a dead cat.’
They arrived at the large pond in the middle of Frogner Park. The benches were occupied with office workers sitting eating sandwiches and drinking coffee.
‘Over there,’ Sand pointed to the spot he remembered from twenty years earlier, where the body of Bjarne Johansen had been discovered pegged out on the ground.
Gabi and Sand jogged round to the area of grass as midday chimes struck from the nearby clock tower.
‘There!’ Gabi pointed and started running. Sand looked where she had pointed. An old man had arrived and was placing something on the ground. As he stood up, Gabi tackled him, pushing him over and restraining him by sitting on his back, pushing his face into the ground. Out of breath, Sand arrived at the scene.
‘Ease off, Gabi,’ he told her. Gabi relaxed her grip, but still held the man down.
Sand looked at the object the man had placed on the ground. It was a bunch of white flowers. They looked familiar. Sand picked them up. They were the same cheap bunch of flowers he had laid at the grave of his dead wife yesterday.
‘Where the hell did you get these?’ he waved them in the face of the dazed man.
‘I was told to bring them here.’
‘By who?’ Gabi shouted.
‘A woman. I don’t know who. She gave me 100 krone to do it.’
Sand looked at the bunch of flowers. Camilla’s favourite white orchids. There was a card stuck into them. Sand hadn’t put card in them when he left them at the grave. He took it out, holding it by the edges, trying not to leave any of his fingerprints on it or ruin any others that might be on it. He unfolded the card inside the envelope and read what it said:
‘Detective Anders Sand. Welcome to the endgame. After twenty years it is finally time for revenge. B was Bjarne, C was Camilla – who will be D? It won’t be over until A is dead, so watch your back.’
It was signed ‘Jules Eckberg.’
This is part six of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge can be found HERE.
Throughout April I hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.